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Nick McKim

Minister for Human Services
Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection
Minister for Community Development
Minister for Climate Change
Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy

Climate Change poses the greatest public policy challenge of our era and will impact our way of life dramatically. Tasmania has the potential to be a leader in climate change adaptation by helping our communities to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise for the early adapters. This Budget helps achieve this with funds for sustainable transport, support for renewable energy and the creation of a new Climate Change Adaptation Unit. This Budget also addresses the need to make the Tasmanian community safer with increased funds for rehabilitation programs and to deliver on recommendations from the 'Breaking the Cycle' discussion paper.

Budget highlights include:

Funding for Passenger Transport Innovation: Tasmania's passenger transport received a major boost with the injection of $7.5 million to develop it as a genuine first choice for commuters. This includes $3.25 million for Metro Tasmania to improve its passenger bus services, with $750,000 in ongoing funding for the continued rollout of the state-wide Park and Ride initiative. And an additional $3.5 million to help implement initiatives from the Tasmanian Urban Passenger Transport Framework.

Hobart Light Rail Study: the Budget includes funding for a business case of a light rail service linking the northern suburbs and central Hobart. The Hobart northern suburbs rail proposal suggests a low-cost, low-emission light rail option and this Budget funds a $350,000 study to determine the feasibility, cost and benefits of this proposal. Light rail has the potential to address climate change challenges by preparing Hobart for the demands of a carbon-constrained future, as well as improving access to the city and the need for social inclusion.

Renewable Energy Boost for King and Flinders Islands: this Budget will help King and Flinders Islands take another step towards energy independence with $1 million to develop their renewable energy usage over three years. This will fund initiatives including: loan schemes for locally-generated renewable energy; training in renewable energy instalment; guidance in energy efficient practices; promotion of the continued uptake of solar water heating systems.

Climate Change Adaptation Unit: this Budget funds a new Climate Change Adaption Unit to help prepare Tasmania's economy and infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities the climate change challenge throws up. Ongoing funds of $500,000 a year will allow the new Unit to work across Government to coordinate scientific research and climate change projections and to set out how the State can best respond.

Study for Prosperity Beyond Peak Oil: a ground-breaking study into how Tasmania can overcome the challenge of peak oil and oil price fluctuations with $250,000 earmarked for the study. This study will assess the vulnerability of the Tasmanian economy and community to sudden, severe or cumulative increases in the real price of petroleum products. This will help Tasmania be an early adapter and to reap the rewards by starting to storm-proof our economy today.

Forest Carbon Study: there are funds in the Budget for a $250,000 research study into the role of Tasmania's forests as carbon stores and the economic opportunities this could present. Into the future storing carbon will present many economic opportunities and this means Tasmania's forests could become economic simply by existing. This research project will show how Tasmania could take advantage of this sustainable resource.

Making Tasmania a Safer Community: an additional $1.1 million will fund the first step in delivering recommendations from the 'Breaking the Cycle' discussion paper for Corrective Services for Tasmania with an increased focus on rehabilitation to reduce the rate of reoffending. This will involve a greater focus on home and periodic detention.